Barcelona security delaysBack to Forum
If travelling through BCN be prepared for long delays at security. Security staff are on a “go slow” and are increasing touchdown searches to make it as slow as possible. Allow almost 1 hour.26 Jul 2017
Icenspice, I pressed it twice. Girona is OK if you are going to the UK, but not much use to Lisbon.
Fortunately the lengthy security did not matter as CrapTAP are 3 hours late from Lisbon, so I shall miss my connection to FAO. Looks like a night in the Holiday Inn Express, as that is probably all that TAP will fund. Oh joy!26 Jul 2017
I agree, TAP are not crap, they’re an excellent airline whose staff show pride in their country and airline. They may not be the smartest or most reliable of airlines but I always enjoy travelling with them. They are a lot better than the airline of their larger neighbour, which I often describe as una vergüenza internacional.26 Jul 2017
If you only fly TAP occasionally it is easy to see only a smiling face of a crew member. You do not see down to the corporate dishonesty, or crew doing everything to protect a cushy lifestyle.
During the last 6 years I have flown 226 sectors on TAP, of those only 16 have been in the last 2 years. When privatisation was announced, around 2013 / 2014 the crew, and company, changed, as they could all see that the easy life would end. Flight deck immediately started a series of “safety issues”. If a light was malfunctioning the aircraft would be delayed while a full investigation took place. Crew stuck rigidly to hours, and played the “out of hours” card.
In 2014 TAP management blamed delays and cancellations on a lack of aircraft, caused by late deliveries of aircraft from Airbus. They said that 3 types were late, but a look at Airbus website showed that TAP had no aircraft on order, and there were no delays in deliveries to leasing companies, or any other customers for 319 320 321 series. Maybe they did not have aircraft for their published schedules, for which they were selling tickets, but that was most likely because of not ordering or not paying. At that time the privatisation was still in negotiation so capital commitments maybe were not authorised.
TAP recently improved the customer experience on A321 aircraft by adding another 3 rows of seats. This took the seating capacity to 218. Union rules dictate that above 200 seats there must be 6 cabin crew, not 5. Last month I flew A321 from FCO to LIS in Executive / Business. The aircraft was about 80% full but, because of the 6 crew Union rule, the flight attendants refused to give any food or drinks service, other than 1 cup of water per passenger. There were 8 of us in 4 rows in Business and we also received water only, but we could have a refill. The crew sat in the galleys chatting. The “real boss” of TAP Humberto Pedrosa was on that flight so I assumed the intention of the Union and cabin crew was to embarrass him.
Yesterday the flight from BCN to LIS was again A321 and once again the Union / Crew refused service. The purser “explained” to me that crew are there for our safety and that crew need to be positioned throughout the aircraft in case of emergency. She never explained how sitting in the galleys chatting worked in safety terms, but obviously, for the crew, it was better than working.
My connecting flight to FAO was last night delayed by 2 hours, which was fortunate as my inbound was delayed by 3 hours. This was not the fault of TAP, but a walkout by Groundforce Tug drivers which resulted in only 1 Tug being available for Lisbon airport from around 2PM. As we landed at Faro the Captain thanked the crew for agreeing to operate the flight, and told us passengers that we should be thankful that the crew agreed to operate the delayed flight as they had started at 2:30 and been delayed.
TAP has a “talk to us” facility on their website. I made 3 complaints in 2015 and had a reply to one only. The complaint was made in November 2015 and the reply was in September 2016. It was a standard reply stating “operational reasons”. I complained again last month, but am not holding my breath. Not sure I can be bothered to complain again today.
Portugal is a wonderful country, and Portuguese people are very friendly, but don’t be taken in by TAP crew smiley faces :-). Take Another Plane27 Jul 2017
Thank you for your revealing post, FaroFlyer.
I have a choice of 4 airlines to both Lisbon and Oporto. easyJet, Ryanair, Luxair and TAP. I am quite happy flying any, depending of course on the usual factors.
No doubt it is sunny in the Algarve. Living in a landlocked country for 15 years, I am very envious.
Best regards.27 Jul 2017
Barcelona is enjoying unprecedented tourism levels and particularly in July and August. The Major of Barcelona has banned any further hotel development as the city is packed. I travelled through Barcelona using CX’s seasonal service to HKG. The usual security channels looked like Black Friday. Even though I was able to use Fast Track , thank goodness, one track seemed to be allocated to families and the like , the short 10 minutes was handicapped by a 45 minute passport control check mainly because they abandoned any EU/Other segregation channels and it was a scrum. No end of people asking to queue jump. I asked the CX ground crew and they confirmed what I said above about delays which had been exacerbated by the terror attacks in London. The final act was being literally chased after getting through passport control by an officer and being asked to return to the booth for another check. After about 5/6 minutes and numerous looks from other officers I was sent on my way with a profuse apology . I must remember to ditch the beard, the white robes and the AK-47 next time!!27 Jul 2017
Thank you, FaroFlyer, for that insight which was quite revealing. I’ve probably done about 8 shorthaul sectors a year on TP in the last few years, at one time I did a lot more.
I might have to go to SAO in the next couple of weeks, I was thinking of TP as I have friends in LIS whom I could see on the way. What do you think of their Executive Class, is it what they used to call Navigator Class which I did many years ago RIO-LIS?27 Jul 2017
Capetonianm, I have never travelled TAP long haul as their prices ex-Portugal are way higher than BA; AF; KL; LH etc., etc.. The usual story of making money from your domestic market, and making up the numbers on connecting traffic.
I guess it depends on where you are starting from. I started from LIS to MIA last year and used IB Business, and enjoyed it. Naturally I use BA when competitive as I am LTG, but no longer have the same status points driven loyalty.
If you want to visit Lisbon anyway why not see what BA or IB are offering originating in FAO, LIS, OPO. Trains from Lisbon are cheap and reasonably frequent if you have to start in FAO or OPO. Do you use Flightmatrix to check prices?27 Jul 2017
I will probably be starting from LON but it could be from Switzerland. TAP prices are high, in fact the cheapest is AZ (but no thanks!) so I’ll probably end up on KLM.
Yes, I use a number of sites to compare prices, including Flightmatrix. I find Kayak good to but the Android app seems to give different, and better , results than the website, which is odd.28 Jul 2017